“Why,” Camus asks, “should a human go on living if life has no meaning?” He concludes that life can be lived—even loved—despite the emptiness from which it arises and to which it returns. Such meaninglessness as Camus describes arises from his lack of religious faith. What he does accept are those things of which he feels sure: “This heart within me I can feel, and I judge that it exists. This world I can touch, and I likewise judge that it exists. There ends all my knowledge, and the rest is construction.”

Unable to penetrate beyond these two certainties, he asks what a human being should make of this existence. The answer makes Albert Camus compelling for everyone, Christians included: “I know that in order to keep alive, the absurd cannot be settled. It escapes suicide to the extent that it is simultaneously awareness and rejection of death.” By acknowledging that death destroys meaning while resisting its power to make him despair, Camus takes up the fight for life.

This Postmodern Realities episode is a conversation with Journal author Stephen Mitchell about 37:6 (2014) article, “The Sting of Death: Albert Camus and the Fight for Life”. 

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